Batman and Mister Miracle writer Tom King has responded to allegations that his CIA background was fabricated with a strong denial and some photos posted to Twitter that help to verify his story.
In a blog post at the TwistStreet Tumblr page, a writer questioned whether the Heroes in Crisis scribe was indeed a CIA officer, as he has previously asserted in several interviews and as DC marketed him during his runs on the intelligence-heavy Grayson and Sheriff of Babylon comics.
The post questions King's credentials based primarily on a form letter the CIA sent back in 2016, after receiving a request for employment verification for King. The form included three boxes -- "we do not have a record of the individual," "a release was not provided from the individual," (with the note that you can resubmit with such a release), and "other." The first two boxes were checked. That first box being checked raised eyebrows, although later on in the article, TwistStreet acknowledges that it is equally likely that the second box was the more key element in the CIA's decisionmaking.
It is not immediately clear whether TwistStreet reached out to King or DC for comment during the two years-plus that they were developing the story.
The piece questions why the media and, apparently, DC themselves did not question or verify King's resume with the CIA. King pointed out that there were already some photos online of his time in the Middle East, but shared both of a photo of himself in Iraq from 2004, and an e-mail from the CIA, who had to review Sheriff of Babylon due to how closely its events mirrored things going on in Iraq during his time in the country.
There’s a post going around questioning whether I served in the CIA. Which is odd, cause I did, and there’s a way for employers (like DC) to check. Anyway, here’s a picture of me in Iraq in ‘04 and an email from when I was getting Sheriff reviewed by the agency. pic.twitter.com/agvztmTJrn— Tom King (@TomKingTK) January 2, 2019
"This is the first comic that I'm actually submitting to the CIA, so every page has been approved by the Agency to make sure I'm not going over any lines," King told ComicBook.com when the series launched. "This one really draws from a lot of personal experience of what I did. I was there for about five months, and I only write about the time I was there. I can't write about the classified stuff -- what I did as a CIA officer. But what I can do is write about that background and try to give you what the heat felt like, what the dirt felt like, what the danger felt like, and try to get all of those little details into this book."
King added in a second tweet that his wife, Colleen, had asked to be quoted on his Twitter feed for the first time.1comments
"Tell those a--holes to call me and ask me what it was like worrying every day that you'd get shot. You served your country. F--k those f---ers," she said.
The CIA does in fact have a website and phone number, where employers can contact them to verify former employees' references. It is not clear whether or not DC (or any of King's employers) have utilized the site, but if questions persist, one assumes that they will request something official to clear up the conversation.